Booking Herschel Walker

November, 7, 2010
11/07/10
10:10
PM ET
Rossen By Jake Rossen
ESPN.com
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So novelty attraction Herschel Walker is fighting unknown, unheralded Scott Carson on Dec. 4. No one knows what Carson offers, least of all Carson -- he's recorded one fight in the past decade. That invites reactions ranging from "Who cares?" to "sounds reasonable." Walker, after all, is a 48-year-old-man with one MMA fight. Celebrity is not exactly a force field when it comes to getting punched in the face.

I remember seeing Walker on an episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA" years ago. At the time, he and Jose Canseco were floating the idea of a reality TV series where they would both head celebrity MMA squads, then fight one another at the conclusion. At the time, this was as ridiculous a premise as I had ever heard, "Manimal" included. But, shock of shocks, both Walker and Canseco wound up fighting -- Canseco even went for the bigger fish in Hong-Man Choi. Never say never.

I don't envy Strikeforce, which has a lightning/bottle situation in Walker -- a name athlete determined enough to fight -- but can't satisfy anyone in actually booking him. Carson is absolutely an appropriate opponent, but fans want someone with a name to rival Walker's. That leaves Jean-Claude Van Damme, dragging Bo Jackson from his compound, or rubbing the rust off David "Tank" Abbott.

Since shame has no place in MMA promotion, I would happily book Walker versus Batista in a geyser of absurdity. There's no such thing as a "little" indiscretion. You need to go all the way. The only real issue with Carson is not that he's a ridiculous opponent. It's that he's not quite ridiculous enough.

Jake Rossen is a contributor to ESPN.com. His byline has appeared in the New York Times, Wired.com, and numerous other outlets. He began covering mixed martial arts in 1998.

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